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Sierra Nevada Pale Ale - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Sierra Nevada Pale AleSierra Nevada Pale Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

2,862 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 2,862
Hads: 10,437
Avg: 4.05
pDev: 22.22%
Wants: 238
Gots: 2,289 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  5.60% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: kbub6f on 07-05-2001

Generous quantities of premium Cascade hops give the Pale Ale its fragrant bouquet and spicy flavor.

37 IBU
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 2,862 | Hads: 10,437
Photo of chrishickman
3.86/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Having finished my Old Chicago World Beer Tour, I decided I was now to the point where I was going to drink beer I liked for the most part, and not be too adventurous. Sadly, I didn't take any notes so I have to rely on my feeble memory!

After having one of my favorite local beers, Millstream Schild Brau (Amber Ale), I decided I wanted something with some hoppy kick to it and saw the SNPA on tap. Boy, I got what I asked for and more! You can't ask for more hop flavor out of a "all year" beer, I mean there was not too much subtley to describe, just knock you on your ass hop clean and fresh hop flavor.1 This beer goes down easy and has a nice head for the style, great lacing. I have no idea why people would drink something like Bud (which laughably touts its high quality hops in their commercials) when stuff like this is available nationally. This will definitely be my "go to" beer when I want something hoppy, though usually I like something a little mellower in this area. Great beer though.

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Photo of thepitch
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A special beer to me. The first craft brew I ever had, this beer cultivated my taste for hoppy brews. If I could rate this beer based on memory alone, it would be straight 5's all the way. But, let's get on with it.

Presentation is awesome. I love the fresh-looking green label.

Poured the beer into a pint glass. It formed a small, white head that faded relatively quickly. It has a nice, but not robust, clear, copper color.

Initially, it smells great. A spicy, floral bouquet of hops. The beer tastes good, but not as good as I remember; maybe my tastes are changing, or maybe this is from a bad batch. Hoppy, spicy, floral, bitter but lacking in overall body with a quickly diminishing aftertaste. It tastes like an awesome beer, but maybe a bit watered down.

Sierra Nevada Pale will always be my first beer love, but I am anxious to find out what else is out there.

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Photo of rlparker3
3.34/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

1-Jan-2009 Nordstrom Cafe, Short Pump, VA

Served with a glass... nice touch. Poured golden, small bubbles throughout. Smelled slightly "off" but this could be environment. Flavor was not as intense as I recall but carried a nice, pleasant hop bitterness... otherwise balanced. Drank cleanly & easily; nice compliment for turkey sandwich.

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Photo of codyw
4.03/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is one of the best beers you can find at almost every gas station.

A: Nice medium amber color. Two finger head that quickly dissipates to lacing.

S: Nice floral and pine mix. The hops are definitely present, but not in an over bearing way.

T: Complex pine, citrus, and spice. The hops hit you at first, but then the malt character show you that the drink still has some body.

M: Not too dry, but has a fairly clean finish.

D: Definitely high. Not too expensive and easy to take down, with a great taste.

I like it with extra sharp cheddar cheese

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Photo of Insomnicat
4.02/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - A really beautiful pale ale. The glass really showed off the carbonation and a good 2 fingers of fluffy white head

S - Smells flowery and hoppy

T - I'm only now starting to open up my tastes to beer, so it could have been that this beer was too hoppy for my tastes. It could be that my tastes are more malty than hoppy. All that I know is that it tasted hoppy like a kick in the teeth.

M - surprisingly crisp and refreshing! Definitely a superb mouthfeel.

D - I didn't have enough to really tell on drinkability, but I do know that it didnt fill me at all. That combined with 5.6% ABV and I would imagine this is a great session beer if you're used to the hops.

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Photo of BrewitYerself
2.86/5  rDev -29.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a frosted glass before I could stop the bartender.

Pours a clear dark copper, thick dense head, some lacing.

Smells of bready/slightly sweet malt with fruity/floral hops and mild esters.

Taste is pungently bitter and sour upfront. Pithy and herbal, almost vegetal. Finishes pretty clean with a moderate lingering pithy sour-bitterness. Not much malt on the palate - just a touch of breadiness and very slight sweetness.

Mouthfeel is very thin, overcarbonated.

Overall it's too bitter and sour, and not enough malt to balance. Hop aroma and flavor are a bit lacking. The flavors it does have taste stale. As it warms it releases more of a malty-sweet aroma, but there still isn't much more than bitterness on the palate. If someone offered me another, I'd take it, but I wouldn't order it.

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Photo of CptAubrey
4.72/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: Thin white head and yellow-amber beer. A fine-looking beer.

S: Citrusy hops, caramel, and malt. Smells delicious and fresh. Makes one salivate.

T: Sweet, caramelly malt up front followed by citrusy, herbal hops. Moderate hop bitterness. Touch of grain adds depth. Every flavor is lively and fresh and the beer is well-balanced overall.

M: Fine carbonation and light-medium body with an oily finish.

D: Extremely drinkable with perfect balance and surprising depth. One of the most flavorful American pale ales I've had.

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Photo of Buckmaister
4.1/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

served in a mug between 45-50 degrees

great frothy 2-inch head which fades down to about a quarter of an inch after a minute...very little lacing left, great amber color

sweet smell of hops and citrus

sweet, the faintest bitterness...

slight carbination yet remains smooth/soft all around, it's crisp!

fantastic! finishes quickly with not much of an aftertaste

Thoughts: I'd been hearing a lot of good about this but always skipped over it at the liquor store just because I had never tried it. I will always take this drink
into consideration when I'm buying something now! A great beer and for the price you can't go wrong. I would probably enjoy this even more in the summer months
as I'm sure it would be refreshing in the heat.

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Photo of NuggetNectar22
3.98/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a staple in my beer rotation. This is one that you can party with. It isn't too high ABV which allows you to enjoy a few. I drink this on a warm afternoon. It has been commercialized, but still stays delicious. It is a ligher color and finish.

Enjoy. -T

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Photo of schmoyer1
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

Nice amber color, half assed head and a nice hoppy smell.

This is a good, drinkable beer any season and seems to show up at a lot of places as the "fancy" beer so you can avoid drinking crap, water beer.

Definitely a keeper.

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Photo of Michaelcbyrnes
4.23/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Appearance - golden orange with slight haze, nice lacing.

Aroma - clean citric dominate aroma with some sweet floral aroma underneath both of which are layered over a malty grain base.

Taste - clean hop bitterness balanced against a malty grain sweetness. With a dry finish which verges near to being harsh, but instead manages to get your attention without overwhelming you.

Mouthfeel - clean and sharp, there is not really any of the round feel that one would expect from the aroma. Dry finish.

Overall - hop forward, classic APA, smartly balanced against a strong grainy malt base. Very very good APA.

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Photo of Augusta3
4.04/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance: dark blonde/golden with about a 1 inch head
Aroma: citrus fruity smell with a slight hop
Taste: somewhat bitter malt but overall pretty well balanced- not too hoppy

Overall: I personally prefer pale ales that have more hop and are a little less bitter... but you can never go wrong with Sierra Nevada Pale Ale!

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Photo of ZachMcGinn
3.03/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Golden amber color. Very little head. Aroma brings out pine needles and caramel. Heavy hops makes for a bitter flavor and biting after taste. Sierra Nevada Pale ale has long been one of America's favorite pale ales. As someone who does not like IPA's, this one is bearable.

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Photo of FrostyStephen15
4.86/5  rDev +20%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Somehow, I've never had a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. Finally, after months of skipping it over at the store, I bought a pint can at the local liquor store for review. I hate IPA's, and so I was hesitant to try a Pale Ale by a brewery famous for its' IPA's. Good god, I was wrong.

The beer pours a beautiful dark golden color, and smells very citrusy and piney. The taste is floral hops up front with a delicious crackery malt backbone. It has a lingering bitter aftertaste, which I like much more now than I used to.

I don't know how I went this long without a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, but it just became one of my favorite beers.

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Photo of DCP
4.41/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Much better from a bottle than a keg on my palate.
My fishing companion.
Great heavy end all day beer.
I don't really order it on tap though.
It's less bitter and usually less fresh for me due to less hop and about the same body, maybe something else.
I've heard there are different recipes used for the bottles and kegs.
So I'm rating from the one I like better.

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Photo of mozart4898
4.15/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured to pint glass. Had it many times before, first time reviewing.

L - Deep golden color. Aggressive pour yields a 2 finger head which fades quickly to a ring around the pint glass. Slightly less than perfect clarity from a tiny bit of yeast from bottle conditioning.
S - Bit of caramel sweetness with floral hops in the background. Not overly distinctive in any one aroma.
T - Balance between malt and gentle hop bitterness with neither dominating. Again, hops show as more floral and possibly somewhat piney than the citrus usually associated with Cascade hops.
F - Mouthfeel is spot on for my expectation of the style - perfect moderate carbonation, not too thin yet refreshing.
O - SNPA probably seems underhopped to many hopheads today (myself included) but I can't fault a beer that's been around since I was born for staying true to its roots. Still a great choice for sessions as well as a great beer with many different types of food. Also doesn't hurt that you can find it pretty much anywhere. My go-to when I can't decide on something else or when choice is limited.

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Photo of mrpicklerelish
3.98/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Apperance - Pours a very nice brownish copper color, very nice to look at. Nice size head that leaves behind some nice tight lacing.

Smell - A small hint of bread aroma followed by some citrus.

Taste - A nice hop kick with a nice side of citrus taste to it. Not an overly hoppy brew but very nicely balanced.

Mouthfeel - A very smooth pale ale, very crisp in the mouth.

Drinkability - Very easy to drink. A great beer to just sit back and enjoy a few. Also a great starter beer to the land of craft brew.

Comments - This is one of my all time favorites. One that I am constantly going back to at least once a month for a revisit. Very accessable in my next of the woods as it is with most palces now and I take full advantage of it.

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Photo of BruceBeerman
4.62/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ah, the sweet nector of a west coast pale ale. The cascade hops with their citrus/floral aroma, the nice bitterness, and the wonderful mouthfeel of this beer it very nice. One of the best of its style.

It is nice golden color with 2 finger head. The foam disapate slowly and nice lacy foam clings to the glass as you drink it. It is bottle conditioned, so don't pour the sentement at the bottom of the bottle (dead yeast). It won't hurt, but just a little too bitter and off flavor as the rest is intended.

I love the history of this bewery and how they were pioneers in developing and marketing the APA style. One of the first and few true west coast micros to be sold in Pennsylvania.

Half of my homebrews are APA style because I liked it so much. SN APA is one of the reasons why. I love the floral cascade hops (and plenty of them).

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Photo of bigchris1313
3.98/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Golden yellow, with a white head.

Smell: Hops. And a smidgen of malt. But most importantly, hops, which for me is the selling point because I love hops.

Taste: What can I say, other than it is the epitome of the Pale Ale. More hops than a pilsner, with a tidbit more malt. Almost grassy.

Mouthfeel: Like a macro with more body and somehow "more solid" carbonation.

Drinkability: It gets a 4.5 because it's a solid beer that isn't very powerful.

Notes: What can I say about this beer? It's the beer that brought me into the realm of Beer Advocacy. This is the gateway drug of good beer. Furthermore, it's an incredible fall-back beer. If you're at a a moderate to nice bar in California, chances are they have this beer in bottles, so even if they fail to have anything incredible, you can usually get this beer. It's akin to having to drive your Cadillac while your Mercedes is in the shop.

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Photo of matsputis
3.87/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Golden amber with some orange

It smells like a big grapefruit. Also has bready-biscuit aroma - a nice balance of hops and malts.

A strong citrus taste with bitterness starts it off, followed by the malty presence and a nice crisp aftertaste. The bitterness stays for a little bit.

It has a very nice crispness to it. Clean flavors

I especially like the aftertaste, and the bitterness gives it a nice kick. The grapefruit flavor I can deal with, but it's a bit strong. I'm fine with just one.

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Photo of Daybis
4.45/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a pint glass.

A - Deep gold appearance. Very frothy and creamy head that lasted a long time. Lacing clings all the way down the glass as the beer is drank.

S - Hoppy and kind of sweet.

T - Sweet upfront with the perfect amount of hop flavor.

M - Medium body without a whole lot of carbonation.

D - This beer is great. It is very drinkable.

Overall, this beer is great. Great aroma, head retention, and taste.

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Photo of mrhiccups
4.33/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nice APA, not overly hoppy, balanced with taste of some pine, some citrus. Flavor is not overpowering like some in this class. Cascade hops add some "distinction" to the taste. Am waiting to go to my local watering hole to try this on tap, as they just started serving this beer! Overall, very drinkable indeed.

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Photo of Dusty8807
4.22/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Well, this is my first review attempt and I figured this was a pretty good beer to start with. A friend of mine in Minnesota has been pointing me to it's reviews here and raving about it lately.

My first thought upon pouring it out into my glass is the look. I love the crystal clear Amber color this beer has, and the nice white/light brownish colored head it produces, which seems to last for a good few minutes.
I'm not too great on getting the scent of a beer, but I would say this had a nice almost flowery aroma to it.
The taste is good, a slight bread flavored bitterness followed by a very slight tangy taste that I can only describe as fruity, almost apple and citrus flavored.
I'd say this beer is quite drinkable, this being my second one tonight actually. It goes down smooth and tasty. Friends of mine all found it to their liking when I let them taste it as well.

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Photo of breakofdawn
4.7/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I'm going to be a bit biased here: this is my all-time favorite beer. But to be honest, the first time I tried SN Pale Ale...I hated it!

Beer pours a golden/orange color. Some lacing left on the side. Smell of hops and pine notes.
More hops upon tasting, not overwhelming, but enough to get the point across. More pine notes, maybe a hint of citrus (almost grapefruit-esque). Some malt and barley mixed in as well.

Dry mouthfeel, definitely has you wanting more!

Overall, an impressive 4.5/5. Highly recommended, and a fine beer to enjoy year round.

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Photo of TheMirrorOwl
3.63/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Honey golden amber, voluminous white head, lots of lacing. Tons of carbonation visible, dissipates quickly.

Smell: Floral, citrus fruit and sweet malt.

Taste: Moderately bitter grapefruit flavor leads into sweet floral earthy malt. Pine in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Lighter on the medium-bodied scale. The carbonation dissipates quickly, which I like, but that leaves the beer somewhat sticky feeling. Fairly astringent.

Overall: The hop potency is more akin to an American IPA, which is what I'd call this by traditional standards. No denying this is a great brew. There are finer, but for the money, this is a well crafted IPA that doesn't disappoint. A solid go-to for hop heads everywhere.

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Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 2,862 ratings.